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Mikel Arteta has ‘fallen in love’ with Arsenal transfer target Lois Openda

Suraj Radia
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal
© ProShots

Mikel Arteta is said to have ‘fallen in love’ with his latest transfer target and has ‘not hesitated for a moment’ in asking Arsenal’s board to sign a player whom they turned down last summer.

Arsenal currently sit five points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League and Arteta is desperate not to fall short of the title for the second season running.

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A report by Catalan outlet El Nacional has claimed that Arteta has been ‘very clear’ over where Arsenal need to strengthen to win the title, with the Gunners boss ‘convinced’ that his team is lacking a striker who guarantees more than 30 goals a season.

That has turned Arsenal’s focus onto Lois Openda, who has been prolific for Leipzig since his €40 million move from Lens last year, scoring 16 goals in all competitions.

It is stated that Arsenal considered signing Openda last year but opted against the risk as they believed he wasn’t ready for Premier League football yet.

However, the 23-year-old’s form for Leipzig this season has convinced Arteta of his pedigree and Arsenal are now ready to make an offer worth €75m for the Belgian, who is thought to have a release clause in his contract with the German side.

Lois Openda has been in fine form for Leipzig this season
© ProShots – Lois Openda has been in fine form for Leipzig this season

Arsenal lacking a natural goalscorer despite potency

Only four teams have scored more than Arsenal in the Premier League this season but their top scorer is Bukayo Saka with six goals – a figure topped by 18 other players.

Arsenal’s two strikers, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus, have just eight goals between them, with the Brazilian stating last year that scoring ‘wasn’t his strong point’.

With Arsenal’s attackers also dealing with injury and fitness concerns throughout the season, the need for a striker has become more apparent, however the club’s concern over financial fair play limitations has prevented them from making signings this month.

Openda will likely be on Arsenal’s shortlist in the summer but the Gunners may have to move quickly, with the striker potentially on course to raise his profile while at the European Championships with Belgium.

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